Writing for ComputerWorld, Matt Hamblen reports that an apps shortage has been a “major shortfall” plaguing many wearable devices. As Hamblen notes, some smartwatches might have only 15 to 20 apps – and often require Bluetooth to connect with a nearby smartphone.
“Compare that number to the 1 million-plus apps in Apple’s App Store or Google Play for smartphones and you begin to see the challenge,” wrote Hamblen. “Analysts expects not only an explosion of wearable devices in the next three years, but an explosion of mobile apps of all kinds.”
Indeed, Gartner has predicted that wearable devices will drive half of all app interactions by 2017, a projection reinforced by the flurry of wearable devices showcased at CES 2014 earlier this month in Las Vegas.
“The level of use of wearable apps is pretty nominal today,” Gartner analyst Brian Blau told ComputerWorld. “But the new cadre of smartwatches shown at CES and things pinned to clothes [or other devices indicates] it is safe to say that there will soon be a way to interact, through a mobile app, that’s in lieu of almost any other way of interacting, including the mobile Web or the desktop Web.”
Blau also confirmed that virtually all vendors are choosing mobile apps to interact with wearable devices.
“Apps are an obvious and convenient platform to enable great products and services to be developed. Our forecast on app usage is based on the basic trends of how many wearables will be out there and basic metrics around app interaction,” he added. “A good portion of what people are going to do will be based on some type of data that originated from a point in the past from a wearable device… Developers will follow the money.”